Tag Archives: exercise

For The Love of Your Heart, Exercise!

For the love of your heartJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

If you haven’t yet made wellness resolutions for the new year, today may be the perfect day to begin. Those who resolve to exercise more and eat healthier in order to lose weight may not fully appreciate the cardiovascular benefits of physical activity. Yes, exercise does burn calories, which along with a healthy diet and portion control can help one reach and maintain a healthy weight. A regular exercise routine also modifies or controls many of the risk factors linked to less than optimal cardiovascular health. Similar to the increased risk of developing heart disease due to smoking and high cholesterol and blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle lacking sufficient physical activity can double the heart disease fatality risk. As well, studies have shown that those who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer a sudden heart attack or other life-threatening cardiac event.

Consistent exercise strengthens the heart and all the muscles of the body. Regular physical activity increases the efficiency of the heart muscle, allowing for a slower more effective heartbeat. Exercise stresses the body, but continued training allows the body to adapt and become conditioned to the stress. During exercise, cardiac output significantly increases to provide oxygenated blood to the muscles, as well as oxygen and nutrients to the brain and other vital organs. As the cardiovascular system strengthens, blood pressure becomes more stabilized and physical fitness and endurance improve. Exercise also allows for better blood flow in the small blood vessels around the heart that can become clogged with fatty deposits. Regular moderate exercise can both lower unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels and raise healthy HDL levels, resulting in overall improved cholesterol levels.

For exercise to be effective, it needs to raise the heartbeat. Experts agree that 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity most days of the week will improve cardiac and overall health. Cardio fitness measures how well the body performs during moderate to high intensity activity for an extended period of time. Overall fitness refers to the relationship between the cardiovascular, respiratory and skeletal systems, as all must work together efficiently to increase fitness. Those new to exercise can start slowly and do whatever they can manage, as even five minutes of activity is helpful. Improving cardio fitness takes time, commitment and effort. However, consistency builds both energy and endurance, while also improving mood and lowering chronic disease risks.

A heart-healthy exercise plan should include both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming, or cycling strengthens the heart and lungs, improving the ability to use oxygen. Anaerobic exercise such as weight training helps build muscle,  strengthens the immune system and increases metabolism, helping to burn more calories while at rest.

  • Walking – Considered a weight bearing aerobic exercise, walking can be done outdoors weather permitting or on a treadmill indoors. In addition to strengthening the heart muscle walking burns calories, aiding weight maintenance. Taking a 15 minute walk after a meal may improve blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Walking improves mood by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression and helps to clear the mind, allowing for more creative thinking. Taking a moderate paced walk each day can fulfill the recommended daily aerobic activity for people of all ages and fitness levels.
  • Swimming – For those who have access to safe water, swimming provides an all-over  workout, without the impact of stress on the joints and body. Swimming keeps the heart rate up and builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness, while alleviating every day stress and improving flexibility. Many find swimming to be a relaxing and peaceful form of exercise.
  • Cycling – Cycling is a low impact form of aerobic exercise that uses all major muscle groups and increases stamina, strength and cardiovascular fitness. A fun way to get fit, as well as a time-efficient mode of transportation, cycling helps to strengthen bones, improves joint mobility, reduces stress and improves posture and coordination.
  • Weight training – Simple weight bearing exercises performed for 20 – 30 minutes twice weekly strengthens the bones, muscles, and connective tissues. Resistance training helps to preserve the quality of life and supports one’s ability to maintain an active and independent lifestyle. Considered a valuable companion to aerobic exercise, weight training increases blood flow to the limbs and results in a longer-lasting drop in blood pressure after exercise.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products in support of cardiovascular and overall health:

CoQ10 100 mgCoQ10 100 mg by Professional Supplement Center®: A naturally present antioxidant, CoQ10 is well known for its heart and vascular health benefits. Found in every bodily cell and crucial to cellular energy production, CoQ10 synthesis declines with age. This highly bioavailable CoQ10, as ubiquinone, is recommended to support cardiovascular, immune, periodontal and liver health. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Heart Science™Heart Science™ by Source Naturals: This multi-nutrient Bio-Aligned™ formula is designed to support normal heart function and healthy blood circulation. Ingredients include vitamins, minerals, turmeric rhizome extract, CoQ10 and resveratrol.


Cholesterol SupportCholesterol Support by Wiley’s Finest™ Alaskan Fish Oil: Specifically formulated with synergistic nutrients to promote heart heath, blood vessel function and healthy circulation, Cholesterol Support provides concentrated omega-3 fish oil along with plant sterol esters. Sourced from certified sustainable Alaskan pollock. Free of gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, sugar, shellfish and artificial ingredients. Naturally preserved with Non-GMO mixed tocopherols.

CardioVenCardioVen™ by Premier Research Labs: This nutraceutical formula provides targeted support for cardiovascular health with nutrients such as herbals, fruits, vegetables, turmeric, mixed tocopherols and CoQ10 as ubiquinone. Gluten free, vegan formulation.


Exercise Helps Your Heart: https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/healthAndWellness/index.jhtml?item=%2Fcommon%2FhealthAndWellness%2Fconditions%2FheartDisease%2FexerciseBenefit.html
Exercise and the Heart. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heart_vascular_institute/clinical_services/centers_excellence/womens_cardiovascular_health_center/patient_information/health_topics/exercise_heart.html
The many ways exercise helps your heart. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-many-ways-exercise-helps-your-heart
10 Surprises About Heart-Healthy Exercise. https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/heart-healthy-living/exercise-facts/
Weight Training Has Unique Heart Benefits, Study Suggests. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/207417.php

For the Love of Pets

petsJacquie Eubanks RN BSNAnyone who has loved and lost a pet knows firsthand that one of the hardest things about pet ownership is that pets have shorter lifespans than their humans. We all would like our furry family members to live a full, happy, healthy and long life. The general belief that the way to determine a dog’s age in human years is to multiply by seven. This 7:1 ratio was based on the determination that humans lived to about seventy years and dogs to about ten. This has been determined to be inaccurate, yet there is disagreement among professionals as to a more accurate method. What we all know in our hearts however, is that it is never long enough. We can help extend the lives of our pets by giving them a certain level of care, and we can improve the quality of their lives by supporting their physical and mental wellbeing.

Some professionals believe that dogs reach the equivalent of twenty-one years in only two human years and that aging then slows to an average of four years to every human year. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) estimates the first year of a dog’s life as equal to fifteen human years, the second year equal to nine human years and after that, each human year would be approximately five years. One thing they all agree on is that smaller pets have longer lifespans than larger ones. While the cause remains unknown, large dogs age at an accelerated pace after age four and succumb to age-related illnesses sooner than smaller dogs. For some pets, unfortunately, bigger isn’t always better.

Dogs have a special ability to bond with their owners, providing unconditional love and companionship, combating feelings of loneliness, and lowering stress levels. Studies have shown pet ownership provides a number of proven health benefits, including physical, emotional, and mental health improvements. Opening your home to a pet or pets can increase fitness, improve immunity and decrease depression and anxiety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) heart-related studies’ findings suggest decreases in stroke and heart attack risk associated with pet owners, who also typically exhibit lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Additionally, according to these studies, heart attack survivors who live with a dog or cat have consistently better recovery rates. Children exposed early on to animals tend to develop stronger immune systems and have a lowered risk of developing related allergies.

Dedicated pet parents can ensure their pet’s health and happiness and support healthy aging.

Weight maintenance – Be careful that you don’t allow your pet to become obese. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces a pet’s risk of disease and injury, contributes to a better quality of life, and supports a longer life expectancy. Dog owners who walk or run with their pets several times each day are more likely to lose or maintain their own weight, as compared to those who don’t have pets.

Exercise – Walking not only supports a pet’s physical needs, it provides mental stimulation as well. Daily walks support muscle maintenance, joint health and a healthy weight. If your pet is recovering from an injury or surgery, speak to your vet about low-impact exercise options. Aside from the obvious reasons to walk your pet, allowing some time for sniffing makes the walk more enjoyable for them. While pets need to go out in all kinds of weather, during summer avoid walking on hot asphalt, and be sure your pet is adequately covered during winter walks. It’s best to time walks to avoid the hottest or coldest time of day.

Nutrition – In addition to good quality, highly nutritious and age appropriate food, pets can benefit from supplements that support joint, digestion, immune and skin health. Provide access to water at all times and watch that your dog doesn’t get dehydrated during warm weather or long walks.

Playtime – This is good advice for both dogs and cats. Indoor cats need opportunities to climb, chase, stalk and pounce. Playing with your cat regularly and providing entertaining toys can help to satisfy the stalking instinct and provide the exercise they need to maintain health. Provide mental stimulation by taking your dog out to play catch or to teach them new tricks. Heading to dog park allows dogs to have fun, get additional exercise and socialize with other dogs when appropriate.

Routine care – Flea and tick control, as well as heartworm and parasite prevention, are a must for pets’ health and quality of life. Annual wellness visits for routine care and dental exams can detect problems in their early stages, making them more easily addressed and treated. Regular grooming is imperative for certain breeds, and others can be bathed when needed. Watch for common health problems such as ear and urinary tract infections. If you pet is showing signs of illness, see your vet as soon as possible.

Enjoy the moment – Time with pets is precious. Maintaining a balanced healthy diet, keeping your pet active in mind and body, regular preventive care, and lots of love and attention can ensure that our best friends live out their natural lifespan in the healthiest possible way.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality nutritional supplements to support your pets’ health and wellness needs:

Healthy AgingHealthy Aging by Animal Necessity: Healthy Aging Vet™ provides natural nutritional support for aging pets. Specific ingredients support overall wellbeing, stress resistance, mental concentration, healthy vision and reduced oxidative stress. Designed to support the health of large breed dogs beginning at age 3, and smaller breed dogs beginning at age 4.


Inflammation Support...Inflammation Support Curcumin 97%™ by Ayush Herbs: Used traditionally for centuries, this 97% pure curcuminoid product helps maintain a healthy inflammatory response, supports hepatic function and natural detoxification, and provides important antioxidant benefits. Free of milk, soy, eggs, and wheat.


Frontier Cat MultiFrontier Cat Multi by Nutritional Frontiers: These comprehensive multivitamin and mineral bite-sized chews provide key nutrients for overall health, omega-3 essential fatty acids, and taurine, an essential nutrient necessary to maintain eye health in cats.


Daily Multi For DogsDaily Multi for Dogs by Pet Naturals® of Vermont: This once daily multivitamin and mineral supplement provides over 21 healthful nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids in support of healthy skin and coat, normal brain function, cellular metabolism, and immune, bone, and nerve health.


Arthro Pet WafersArthroPet® Wafers by NeoCell: This innovative formula provides a natural source of collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, MSM and manganese in support of strong and healthy joints. Gluten, soy, wheat, lactose, yeast, starch and artificial flavor free.


Pets Joint Support ...Pets Joint Support for Dogs and Cats by Now® Foods: This veterinarian formulated supplement supports normal joint function and healthy joint aging in both dogs and cats. Specific ingredients help to alleviate occasional joint discomfort associated with routine daily activity. The formula includes glucosamine, MSM, curcumin, hyaluronic acid, yucca and cayenne.

How to Calculate Dog Years to Human Years. http://www.akc.org/content/entertainment/articles/how-to-calculate-dog-years-to-human-years/
10 Tips to Keep Your Cat Happy Indoors. http://m.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/cat_happy_indoors.html
5 ways to keep your dog happy and healthy. https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/routine-care/5-ways-to-keep-your-dog-healthy-and-happy
7 Things You Can Do To Keep Your Pet Healthy. https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/pet-health.aspx
Healthy Pets, Healthy People. https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/index.html



Can Alzheimer’s Be Prevented?

AlzheimersPreventedJacquie Eubanks RN BSNPresently, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) tops five million. Unless an effective treatment is developed that number is expected to increase exponentially as the population ages. Increasing age is still the primary risk factor, and according to statistics, by the age of 82, the prevalence rises to 42 percent. Signs of late-onset AD often appear in a person’s mid-60’s, although researchers believe that damage to brain heath begins years earlier. AD is characterized by the accumulation of two types of protein in the brain, known as tangles, or tau, and amyloid-beta plaques. As well, there is also a loss of connections between brain nerve cells, known as neurons, that transmit messages within the brain, and from the brain to muscles and organs.

With AD, once healthy neurons stop functioning, brains cells begin to die off, and eventually the brain shrinks in size. While tangles and plaques are closely associated with AD, family history, genetics, inflammation, and vascular disease, as well as environmental and lifestyle factors may contribute. As with other chronic debilitating diseases, lifestyle habits are seen to play a major role in both contribution and prevention. Are there healthy lifestyle habits you can adopt to stave off or ameliorate Alzheimer’s Disease? Although science has yet to discover the cause or cure for AD, the National Institutes of Health suggests that modifiable risk factors may help protect cognition and mental activity.

Modifiable risk factors that appear to protect against AD are many and varied. These include mental activity to increase cognitive reserve, lifelong learning, physical activity, social engagement, wellness activities, healthy sleep, nutritious diet, omega-3 intake, mindfulness, optimism, and purpose in life. Risk factor prevention should target diabetes, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome; as well as high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and coronary heart and renal disease. Additional factors include systemic inflammation, sleep-disordered breathing, traumatic brain injury, and alcohol or tobacco use.

Sleep – Since many of us don’t prioritize sleep, most of us are just not getting enough of it. The perfect amount of sleep varies with age and by individual. However, seven to eight hours of sleep nightly appears to be sufficient to wake refreshed and energetic. Insufficient sleep is linked to chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression and cognitive decline. A recent study by Washington University researchers showed an association between disrupted sleep and higher levels of two AD associated proteins. Researchers found that just one night of disturbed sleep led to a 10 percent increase in amyloid beta. A full week of insufficient sleep showed an increase in the tau protein. While no one can confirm that regular quality sleep reduces AD risks, it does appear that those who are chronically sleep deprived may have increased levels of proteins associated with AD. The good news is that the negative effects of an occasional night of restless sleep may be reversed with good sleep habits.

Exercise – Convincing evidence shows that 30 minutes of moderately vigorous exercise three to four days each week may help prevent AD, or slow the progression in people who have symptoms. According to a recent UW-Madison study, those at a high genetic risk of AD who perform moderate-intensity activity, such as a brisk walk or run, are more likely to have healthy patterns of brain glucose metabolism. Dependent upon the type of exercise and its intensity, physical activity may lower AD risk by up to 65 percent by addressing underlying mechanisms, such as improved pulmonary function, increased cell survival and a proper inflammatory response.

Diet – While the Mediterranean diet and the MIND diet are often recommended for overall good health, a low carb, high fat, no sugar, no starch ketogenic diet has been shown to be of benefit in neurodegenerative disorders. A ketogenic diet, along with consumption of ketone-producing medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s), fights brain insulin resistance (type 3 diabetes) by helping to control blood glucose, calming inflammation, and enhancing insulin sensitivity. The diet helps to maintain energy levels by fueling the brain with ketones, a more concentrated and efficient energy source.

Diabetes – Those with diabetes and insulin resistance are at a higher risk of developing AD and other neurogenerative diseases. The relationship between diabetes and AD is so close that AD is now recognized as another form of diabetes referred to as type 3. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas fails to produce sufficient insulin to properly regulate blood glucose. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas can produce a normal amount of insulin, but the cells have become resistant or unresponsive to its action, resulting in insulin resistance. In type 3 diabetes, the brain has insulin deficiency, as in type 1, plus insulin resistance, as in type 2. Dysregulation of insulin results in an increased risk for cognitive impairment. The good news is that diabetes type 2 can often be reversed with weight loss, regular exercise and a proper diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids – Found in fish, algae, some plants, nut oils and supplements, omega-3’s play a crucial role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development. Highly concentrated in the brain, research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and appear to be important for cognitive and behavioral function. Studies show an association between reduced intake of omega-3 fatty acids and an increased risk of age-related cognitive decline or dementia.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other fine quality supplements to support brain and overall health:

Sleep AideSleep Aide by Vital Nutrients: This synergistic formula provides well-studied botanicals and melatonin to provide a safe, natural way to calm the central nervous system and encourage restful, restorative sleep. Independently tested to be gluten, wheat, soy, egg, sugar, heavy metal, and pesticide free.


M.C.T. Liquid ...M.C.T. Liquid by Douglas Laboratories®: This product supplies 100% structured lipids in a convenient liquid form. MCT oil aids in weight management and energy production. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy and artificial ingredient free formula.


Diabetter Advanced...Diabetter™ Advanced Glucose Support by Zahler: This product includes vitamins, minerals, and botanicals that work synergistically to help support and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Kosher formulation.


PGX DailyPGX® by Bioclinic Naturals: This clinically studied natural fiber complex supports healthy weight loss, reduces cravings, improves regularity, and helps to normalize blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. Gluten, wheat, and dairy free formulation.


Easy Swallow MinisEasy Swallow Minis by Wiley’s Finest™ Wild Alaskan Fish Oil: These easy swallow minis provide a concentrated and balanced dose of EPA and DHA omega-3 essential fatty acids. Manufactured at a family-owned and operated c-GMP facility, and sourced from sustainable Alaskan pollock or pacific whiting. Sugar, gluten, starch, yeast, wheat, dairy, artificial ingredients, nuts, shellfish, soy and corn free.

Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep. http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/dont_underestimate_the_importance_of_sleep
Bad Sleep Found to Increase Alzheimer’s Related Brain Proteins. https://www.sciencealert.com/bad-sleep-may-increase-your-alzheimer-s-risk
Alzheimer’s disease study links brain health, physical activity. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170622103818.htm
What can you do to avoid Alzheimer’s disease? https://www.health.harvard.edu/alzheimers-and-dementia/what-can-you-do-to-avoid-alzheimers-disease
Alzheimer’s Prevention: A Summary of What We Know. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/884615
Ketones to combat Alzheimer’s disease. http://blogs.plos.org/neuro/2016/07/16/ketones-to-combat-alzheimers-disease/
Can omega-3 help prevent Alzheimer’s disease? Brain SPECT imaging shows possible link. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170519124034.htm
Omega-3 fatty acids. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids